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of the economy, but americans didn't hold back on what turned out to be a record-breaking holiday weekend for retailers. and it's not over yet. cyber monday is officially in full swing and experts predict today will be the biggest online shopping day of the year to the tune of $1.5 billion. nbc's kristen dahlgren has more. >> reporter: from the moment doors opened thursday, before the thanksgiving dishes were even done, almost a quarter billion shoppers will have been online or in stores. >> i just prepare, put my speakers on and go for it. >> reporter: shopping started earlier than ever, and in spite of the employee protests, the early opening paid off. according to the national retail federation, more than 35 million shopped on thanksgiving, six million more than last year. black friday was big, too. 89 million braved the crowds in search of those hard-to-beat bargains, up from 86 million last year. >> the biggest wish list is -- >> uggs. >> reporter: and americans spent more, too. the average shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year, for a total of $59.1 billion. it's no
to strengthen both country's economies. >>> after black friday, small business saturday and cyber monday, organizers are hoping the first annual giving tuesday will become a new holiday tradition. the campaign encourages folks to donate time and/or money and then share the good deed on social media. >>> and veteran nbc newsman tom brokaw will be honored with the annual ken burns lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the arts through history related projects. >>> all day long you can stay on top of the very latest developments in those stories and others as they break on msnbc. and tonight be sure to watch "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. >>> and, finally, here's a look at what's coming up later this morning on the "today" show. in a "today" exclusive business tycoon warren buffett is live with his take on the state of the economy, the fiscal cliff, and taxing the rich. >>> and actress scarlett johansson talks about the oscar buzz surrounding her new role in "hitchcock." >>> and now keep it on this channel for continuing local news, weather, sports, and more. i'm lynn
. >> my mom worked at butterball. >> reporter: locals say it's not easy work, but in a tough economy, a product most americans buy at least once a year keeps the paychecks coming. and the free bird given to the workers doesn't go to waste. >> reporter: what do you eat for thanksgiving dinner? >> turkey. >> reporter: no. >> yes. yes, of course. >> reporter: catering the holiday meal from a small town that runs on turkey. janet shamlian, nbc news, ozark, arkansas. >>> how about some sports. start with the nba. carmelo anthony went on a scoring bring with 29 points in a 102-80 victory over new orleans. the knicks have eight wins and only one loss. former knicks coach mike d'antoni made his day daye bu as the new coach of the lakers. the lakers beat the nets 95-90. >>> in college basketball, rodney clark made very long three-pointers to give unranked butler a stunning upset as number nine north carolina, 82-71 at the howie classic in ha why see. >>> meet jack taylor, division three grenel college, set an astounding scoring record with 138 points against faith baptist bible. final score 1
economies raised hopes for improving global growth. >>> facebook wants to stop letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies. the social network is concerned about the quantity versus quality of feedback generated by the current setup. the company says users will still be able to weigh in during a seven day comment period. >>> and the u.s. post office is hoping to cash in on the season's bounty of online shopping with same day package delivery. the expedited service will be tested in san francisco next month and if it's successful the program will expand to other big cities like boston, new york and chicago. >>> some incredible sports highlights are straight ahead, plus just 12 short years ago it was billed as the tallest and fastest wooden coaster, but now no more. we're going to tell you why. >>> weekend forecast is definitely talking about the big chill. all those details coming up. you're watching "early today." >>> well, good morning. some other stories making news across america now. hundreds of volunteers helped serve thousands of men, women, and children in need of a traditio
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